Walmart is a retail store which has operated in the American market for close to half a century. However, with the advent of computing technology, the company had to change its ways and embrace emerging trends. Presently, the company successfully runs an online store from its division’s headquarters in San Francisco, California. Unlike the physical retail outlets, the online store is hosted on Walmart.com. As an online platform, the company has managed to remain so competitive that it currently comes second to Amazon in terms of consumer penetration, within the United States. The bulk of sales on the company’s online portal come from food products. Unlike other retailers, Walmart has embraced a strategy which seeks to offer its clients organic food products which are safe and healthy. The approach has endeared it to many customers who support its operations across the nation. The following discourse is an analysis of the online retail outlet.
The online operations of the company are centred on the mission of the parent retailer. In its operations, Walmart seeks to meet the needs of the customers at their convenience. In this regard, the operations of the online platform are categorized into different groups depending on the products offered. For instance, there are categories for financial services, health/fitness, photo, grocery, and even tech support. In embracing such an approach, the company aims to make the navigation of its website easier thus improving customer experience. In a way, this improves the company’s sales by reaching out to a diverse target client.
The delivery of the company’s products, once purchased from the online platform, takes about two days. However, in case of a defect in the product bought, the company allows uses to return them under their policy which guarantees refunds on faulty products. Not only that, such clients usually have the option of being given replacements from the company. This is an act which promotes customer loyalty in line with its programs.
Agreeably, Walmart is among the biggest online stores in the American market in terms of market capitalization as well as sales (Fishman 2006). Like any retail store, the company deals in an array of goods ranging from electronics, furniture, to food products (Massengill 2013). At present, the biggest threat to the retailer are other online stores such as Amazon and Alibaba. However, due its good managerial strategy, it is bound to overcome such threats as is evident in its bullish stocks. In fact, the company’s dividend increased by about two dollars per share for the year ended. Not only that, the eCommerce division grew by about 34%.
The company’s organizational structure is hierarchical. The online platform is treated like a division. At the helm of the leadership structure is a CEO who acts at the overall decision maker (Lichtenstein 2011). Notably, the online platform falls under the eCommerce division (The New York Times 2017).
As at 2016, the retailer’s net income was in the tune of 14 billion dollars. For the same period of time, the company was valued at close to 200 billion dollars (The New York Times 2017). The valuation took into consideration the retailer’s tangible as well as intangible assets. In this regard, Walmart total equity is approximated to have been more than 80 billion dollars in the last fiscal year (2016) (The New York Times 2017).
Despite the dynamisms which have characterized the online retail industry, such as the 2008 recession, the company’s shares still show a bullish trend. In fact, as at now, the share price of Walmart’s stocks stands at about 72 dollars. The robustness of the company’s operations is evidenced by the fact that it has traded close to 14 million shares in the last one month. On this, its market capitalization is approximated to be slightly above 220 billion dollars (The New York Times 2017).
- Fishman, C. 2006, The Wal-Mart effect: how the world’s most powerful company really works, and how it’s transforming the American economy. New York, The Penguin Press.
- Lichtenstein, N. 2011, Wal-Mart: the face Of twenty-first-century capitalism. New York, New Press. http://public.eblib.com/choice/publicfullrecord.aspx?p=729389.
- Massengill, R. P. 2013, Wal-Mart wars: moral populism in the twenty-first century. http://public.eblib.com/choice/publicfullrecord.aspx?p=1168275.
- The New York Times 2017, Wal-Mart Stores Inc.. [Online] Available at: https://www.nytimes.com/topic/company/walmart-stores-inc [Accessed 27 February 2017].